FAIZABAD: As mob frenzy peaks across the state with farmers fearing crop damage locking up stray cattle in schools, the district administration in Ayodhya clamped down on those abandoning or locking up cows with swift legal action, including imprisonment.
Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in the entire district, prohibiting people from abandoning domestic cattle or shifting them to shelter homes.
Now, officials said, anyone caught violating prohibitory orders will be booked under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code. Also, a charge of cruelty on animals will be slapped. The section prescribes fine and jail up to a month. In case, such an incident triggers violence, the jail term can be extended to six months. The decision has been taken in view of law and order problem after angry villagers locked up stray cattle in schools and police stations to stop them from trampling upon crops.
Faizabad DM Anil Kumar Pathak said, “Stray cattle across the district are being caught and shifted to shelter homes following the rising incidence of crop damage or injury to people. However, our efforts suffered a setback when some people started abandoning aged cows or sending them to shelter homes after the bovines are past their economical use or are unable to support them. As a result, we had to issue prohibitory orders.”
The order states that “it has come to the notice of the district administration that while some are shifting their domestic cattle to shelter homes for stray animals, it’s leading to a shortage of space. Others are abandoning them adding to the stray menace. Hence, it adds, Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed with immediate effect till March 15. Also, any other action or event which promote such activities has been prohibited.”
Currently, the Faizabad administration is running 35 shelter homes in the district in which around 5,000 stray cattle, around 95% of the total in the district, have been accommodated.